It's not yet the All-Star break, but it looks like the tables have already begun to turn for the Boston Red Sox. And who should be surprised. Everyone is harking back to 1978 when the REd Sox collapse allowed the Yanks to win the Bucky Dent playoff game. But Sox fans don't have to go back that far. Is there no recent memory in Boston? Like how about last year, when The Sox were up by 6 at the All-Star break, Or the year before. Or even 2004 when Boston won it all. They still had a late season swoon that allowed the Yankees to win the division as they have the last 3 years.
This is not a championship team by a long shot. There are major holes in the lineup and now that the pitching has become suspect, Boston may be in for a long season. I hope I'm wrong, there are always a few flat spots in the schedule. But this seems like a major one. Boston plays Oakland again tonight with Wakefield on the mound. Wakefield has of late been unable to find the strike zone and when that happens, the walks come in handfuls and so do the runs. And that spells the 4th loss in a row and a sweep by Oakland as the Sox move on to West Division leading California. Our pitching rotation, which for two months has seemed invincible, is now showing signs of tarnish. And closer Jonathan Papelbon and set up man Okajima have not been as sharp as of late.
And look at our position players and compare them with the "struggling" Yankees. With the exception of Youkilis at first and Manny in left, I'd choose the Yankee players hands down: Posada over Veritek, CAno over Padroia, Jeter over Lugo, A Rod over Lowell, Melky Cabrera or Johnny Damon over Coco Crisp, and Bobby Abreu over whatever bum the Red Sox decide to put in right field for the night.
I know, I'm overly pessimistic. But I'm a Red Sox Fan and I've seen this kind of collapse happen too often not to be wary. Francona has his work cut out for him.